Most of you will have some contact with holidaymakers in France during the summer, but in case you didn’t realise what effort goes into making sure their holidays are successful, ‘a week in the life’ of a caretaker of holiday homes makes entertaining reading…
Articles by Eleanor Fullalove
Home to the country’s ‘gastronomic capital’, Lyon, as well as famous Alpine resorts such as Méribel and Chambéry, the Rhône-Alpes region has plenty to offer in the way of hearty, traditional dishes, as well as innovative Michelin quality menus.
The region is well-known for its Comté cheese and ‘yellow wine’, but other local specialities like smoked ham and cherry jam help make any trip to Franche-Comté a real voyage of gastronomic discovery.
Hidden gems have their place, but the French capital boasts many well-known names it would be wrong to ignore. Here are our top gourmet hotspots, from Café de Flore to Fauchon. Paris wouldn’t be the same without them.
In early 2013, a sub-group of La Souterraine Library Gardening Group initiated Open Gardens/Jardins Ouverts, based loosely on the NGS Yellow Book Scheme in the UK. The concept is to encourage owners to open their gardens to the public for a few days.
This most sparsely populated department of Languedoc-Roussillon is rugged and mountainous but crossed by many rivers and densely forested in places, all of which lends the local gastronomy a truly unique flavour.
Our pick of the best events this region has to offer, onion festivals (fête de l’oignon) and Christmas markets (Marché de Noel) included. Find out what’s on in Autun, Auxonne, Beaune, Bèze, Dijon, Nuits-Saints-Georges…
Specialities like Cendré d’Olivet (a cow’s milk cheese) and Pithiviers (a sweet puff pastry pie) take their names from the places where they are produced. But did you know that the famous French tarte tatin also originated here?
From Amboise and Bourges to Tours and Vierzon, the Centre boasts a wide variety of music concerts, sporting events and festivals celebrating local heritage and gastronomy – something for everyone.
In 2007, the Hill family from Kent moved to Calvados in Normandy where they now run an eco-gite business. Here, wife and mother of two, Rosie Hill, shares their story with FrenchEntree – complete with faux pas and pigs.
If you’ve decided to get around France or Europe by car, you may have assumed that hiring a vehicle is the only way to go. But depending on which countries you plan to visit and the length of time you’ll need the car, a more economical option may be leasing.
One of the most popular options to finance your property in France is to apply for a mortgage in France.
Helpful words to smooth your way between the la salle d’attente (waiting room) and la voiture buffet (buffet car) via le guichet (ticket office). Here’s hoping there’s no travaux (engineering works) and that you arrive à l’heure (on time).
FrenchEntree has launched a new service for house hunters in France – a new weekly email showcasing the very best places now on sale, hand-picked by our team of property experts. Read more and sign up here.
Does living amongst the locals, walking to the boulangerie each morning for your croissant or cooking up a storm with the freshest produce bought from the local market appeal to you? Then renting an apartment for your stay in Paris is for you.
When Australia was discovered by Captain Cook and French explorer La Pérouse, France was about to close on a glorious era known as the Age of Enlightenment. It is this exciting period of history that French Moments has chosen as its theme for its Intensive Course in Paris for July 2014.
Compared with the data from America and Britain, that from the Eurozone is weak.
A holiday home from home with the added satisfaction of helping a worthwhile charity. Every penny goes to Combat Stress, which cares for UK veterans who have been traumatised by experiences during their service career.
The National Museum of Natural History is an eclectic collection of some of France’s most important and distinguished gardens. Here we take a browse around four of the best, from Provence to Paris.
In keeping with the changing moods and light of Normandy’s skies, the parks and gardens in Calvados offer remarkable variety: historic or modern, botanical or landscaped, bizarre or wild.
Every year, Vichy dedicates a long weekend at the end of April to recreating the dress and dancing associated with Napoleon III, who transformed his favourite spa town by introducing more parks and a casino – amongst other things.
Take a trip to the thermal spa town in Auvergne and you’ll find a lots of local delicacies on the menu. Here’s our at a glance guide to what to eat and drink in Vichy, whether you are on a health kick or need to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Award-winning designer James Besson shares his tips to create a garden in harmony with its surroundings.
Five years ago, two mothers from opposite sides of the Atlantic, Sylvie Confiac in Paris, and Susan Horton in New York created Au Pair Paris to match smart, caring young Anglophones with host families in the Paris metropolitan region.
The small team behind Better Paris Photos is powered by a love for photography, a fascination for Paris, and most importantly a passion for helping others experience both of them together.
French Moments is running a 12 day intensive course (1 – 12 September 2014) in Sarlat-la-Canéda, combining 30 hours of lessons with activities and excursions, whilst allowing for a healthy amount of down-time.
Making money transfers to and from France – the cost effective way! If you need to send money to or from France, perhaps for property or maintenance costs, the timing …
If you intend to set up a business in France, it is advisable, at least in the beginning, to rent out rather than purchase your business premises as it will give you time to familiarise yourself with an area and its amenities, and to ensure that it suits your business.
Elizabeth Whiteman lives in Bury, a small village in the Oise department, close to the town of Mouy, between Chantilly and Beauvais. She is a mother of three and a keen gardener, who also likes to paint her produce.
We ask an American living in Corsica what it’s like to work there, raise her children on the island and what makes the frustrations worthwhile. Cara Straforelli shares some highlights with FrenchEntrée.
The exact moment when you hit “send” on your currency transfer affects the amount of money you end up with on the other end of the transaction.
A great way for any newcomer to meet new people quickly! It was formed in 1923 by British expats living and working in Paris, but not all players and members are British – the club reflects the thriving international community in Paris.
If you were hoping to join the French healthcare system by setting up a small business (such as an auto entrepreneur business), be aware of strict new measures relating to foreign citizens.
Of the many local products protected by an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) label are five types of cheese: Bleu d’Auvergne, Cantal, Fourme d’Ambert, Saint Nectaire and Salers. See them take shape on the Route des Fromages, which points out 40 places of interest.
Situated between the sea and the farmlands of the Avesnois and the Monts des Flandres, Nord-Pas de Calais offers an unexpected cuisine which will delight the palate of the adventurous in quest of lovely culinary surprises.
Join the locals in celebrating the heritage of this region and its regional delicacies at events across Alsace and Lorraine. From January’s Fête de la Montagne to December’s Fête Saint Nicolas, you’ll be spoiled for choice!
Every region of France has a unique personality and Alsace is no different: more pork is consumed here than anywhere else in the country, fried carp and chips is the norm and its speciality foods have a distinctly German flavour.
There’s more to Lorraine than its famous quiche, which would struggle to contain all the smoked meats and cheeses typical in this part of France. The region’s mountains, forests and vineyards all contribute to the local gastronomy.
From seafood restaurants to market stalls, via Michelin stars and gastronomic fairs, food from the Pays Basque – nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Spanish Pyrénées in SW France – can be savoured in all seasons.
Sandwiched between Normandy and Champagne-Ardenne, the Picardy region of France is home to some delicious dairy products and can sell its fizz as authentic champagne.
Join the locals in celebrating regional delicacies at foodie fairs, supporting the athletes competing in the island’s sporting events and getting involved with its annual music and religious festivals.
There are all sorts of events being planned throughout the year in the Midi-Pyrénées region. Here’s our pick of the bunch, from springtime carnivals in Albi and Castres to local food festivals and major music concerts.
Cities, towns and villages around the region are attracting visitors throughout the year thanks to their music festivals, flea markets, local fairs and festive offerings.
Find something to celebrate in Normandy… Explore the region via Rouen, Falaise, Lisieux, Le Havre, Bayeux, Honfleur, Deauville and Trouville-sur-Mer.
Visit the region famous for its traditional dancing and the buttery goodness of its local cuisine and you’ll be spoiled for choice with foodie fairs and festivals keeping old customs alive.
“Australian investors are snapping up cheap properties in France”, says Nathan Mawby. “Thanks to the strong Aussie dollar, “rural properties that would not look out of place in a fairytale cost about the same as the median house price in Adelaide”.
As with every region in France, Poitou-Charentes has its own speciality food and drink. Below are a few things you wouldn’t want to miss out on when visiting the region.
This family friendly leisure park in Carcassonne (Languedoc-Roussillon) is run by a team passionate about all things Australian! Inside, you’ll meet animals like the kangaroo, the wallaby, the possum, the emu and the ostrich.
After 10 years spent living and working in London as a painter and decorator, Giles Stonor moved to France and established himself as an artisan. Amongst his biggest projects was the restoration of a Chartreuse in the Dordogne. Here Giles tells FrenchEntrée his story.
Are you planning to carry out work on your home in France? Here’s why you should contact the local authorities.